Dangers of Domestic Violence - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Dangers of Domestic Violence

KENNEWICK, Wash. - The Pasco woman, allegedly stabbed by her estranged husband on Sunday, now becomes the 10th person murdered in the Tri-Cities since 2005. Like the majority of the victims, her alleged killer was no stranger.

If you live in the Tri-Cities, chances are if someone's going to kill you, it won't be a gang member in a bad neighborhood. The person you should worry about you may already live with, and they most likely sleep next to you at night.

Police officers and sheriff's deputies have responded to murder scenes seven times since June, 2005, 10 people dead, only three didn't know their killer, and five victims of domestic violence who were either married to their murderer or were killed by a parent.

Experts in domestic violence said the common thread among abusers - they need to feel power and control over their victims.

"Suddenly when their loss of control is threatened they become lethal," said Kelly Abken, Domestic Violence Services.    

And Kennewick police report domestic violence calls are among the most dangerous they can respond to. Sometimes officers will get a 911 hang up and dread making the call back to find out what's wrong.

"It's a helpless feeling on our end," said Sgt. Ken Lattin, Kennewick Police Department. 

"To be on the phone and I'm trying to dispatch officers to this location and I can hear the violence going on in the background."

No matter how bad the situation, experts encourage victims to get out as soon as possible. They say no matter what you do, you won't change the situation. And they remind victims it's not your fault.

"She thinks if I just did this differently, if I did that differently, if he didn't drink or use drugs or have money problems, there's always a lot of excuses for abuse. The reality is it's about the abuser's behavior and not the victim's behavior," Abken said.    

Experts encourage victims to call the domestic violence hotline, before the situation gets out of hand.

Here's the domestic violence hotline number: 582-9841, or call toll free at 1-800-648-1277.